Since I have been without access to internet to post on my blog, I have written down my blog entries in word documents or taken notes etc. to add later. The following entry is currently not applicable but it is something I wrote about that applied to my life a few days ago before I was abruptly relocated.
" 6 months and new host family
I have officially been in Kazakhstan for 6 months or ¼ of my total service. Wow! What a crazy experience. So I am back to the blogging……having all of the pieces to get my stuff on my website has been a challenge obviously. I have continued to keep notes and records of what has been happening, and will slowly get the blog caught up to present day. I moved host families and it has made such a difference in my quality of life! This is a Kazakh family and I can talk about them more later.
Despite a slightly rough start settling in my community, this is a totally live-able situation. Here are some fun facts about my site provided to me through Peace Corps:
Type of Site: town
Distance from Capital: 190 km from Astana or 8 hours by train
Languages: Russian and Kazakh spoken equally
Transportation: busses, taxis, mini vans, on foot
Communication: landline and mobile networks, internet
Infastructure: water supply varies, in some places it is centralized, in others not. Hot water and heating is usually via electric boilers; electricity is constant, gas is not centralized.
Economic Situation: People often work at schools or get involved with private entrepreneurship
- 2 bazaars
- Shopping center
- Many small shops
- Sports center
- House of culture
- Post office
- 24 hour stores
- No swimming pool
- No cinemas
- Police station
- Bus station
- Train station
- 5 public schools
- Auto repair place
Police attitude towards foreigners: neutral
Pollution: near wooded area with late, air is fresher and cleaner than the city
New Site?: No
New Work Place?: No
Expanded Information (from my former site mate)
1. Geography – North Kazakhstan; steppe and forests
2. Weather – cold winters with snow and warm summers; fairly windy
3. Ethnic groups / languages and how they mark or characterize the area – Makinsk is roughly half Russian and half Kazakh with a large minority of populations of Ingush, Chechens, and Tzigans. Almost everybody speaks Russian, but a large amount of Kazakh can be heard on the street.
4. Population – After the Soviet Union, the population declined from about 50,000 to 25,000 but the population has stabilized.
5. Economic situation – The main factories are an asphalt company in Kaminikarrier and a mechanical factory. Otherwise the rest of the economy is either linked through the government or small businesses that don’t generate a large amount of income. There is a good amount of unemployment, though the exact figure is hard to gather. It’s hard to figure out if the situation is getting better, but most of the economy is focused in the government, financial and mineral extraction sectors, none of which are major parts of the local economy. "
Kazakhstan Fun Fact:
Here quotation marks are written like this:
«A” instead of “A”
Peace Corps Blog.
click above to play a traditional Kazakh song that I really like called the Karajorga. It is very popular and there is a traditional dance that is performed with it as well.
March 8, 2011 -
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